ARIC study: Stay active, save the kidneys

11 Oct 2020

Being physically active boosts health, and a recent study reports that moving more may reduce the risk of developing chronic kidney disease.

The study included 14,537 individuals aged 45–64 years from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. Based on the modified Baecke Physical Activity Questionnaire, 37.8 percent of the participants were inactive at baseline, 24.2 percent were insufficiently active, 22.7 percent were active, and 15.3 percent were highly active.

Over a median follow-up of 24 years, CKD (defined as estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 at follow up and ≥25-percent decline in eGFR relative to baseline, CKD-related hospitalization or death, or end stage renal disease) occurred in 33.2 percent of participants.

Cox proportional hazards regression revealed a protective association between physical activity and CKD risk. Compared with inactive participants, those highly active had an 11-percent lower risk (hazard ratio [HR], 0.89, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.81–0.97; ptrend=0.007), those active had a 7-percent lower risk (HR, 0.93, 95 percent CI, 0.86–1.01), and those insufficiently active had a 5-percent lower risk (HR, 0.95, 95 percent CI, 0.88–1.02).

The estimates were controlled for age, sex, race, education, smoking status, diet quality, diabetes, coronary heart disease, hypertension, antihypertensive medication, body mass index, and baseline eGFR.

There were several study limitations, including its observational design and self-reported physical activity that was based on leisure time activity only. Also, white and nonblack participants were excluded.

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